Exogenous visual orienting by reward


Classic spatial cueing experiments have demonstrated that salient cues have the ability to summon attention as evidenced by performance benefits when the cue validly indicates the target location and costs when the cue is invalid. Here we show that nonsalient cues that are associated with reward also have the ability to capture attention. We demonstrate performance costs and benefits in attentional orienting towards a nonsalient cue that acquired value through reward learning. The present study provides direct evidence that stimuli associated with reward have the ability to exogenously capture spatial attention independent of task-set, goals and salience.

Journal of Vision, 14(5), 6